Meet the playwrights of Female Voices From Brazil



Co-curated by The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, the second edition of the series Brazil Reads Brasil brings together three contemporary female playwrights at the forefront of Brazilian theatre. Known for their political and daring narratives Ana Maria Gonçalves, Cidinha da Silva and Marcia Zanelatto tackle the subjects of race, gender, and equality in Brazil’s current turbulent socio-political climate.



Ana Maria Gonçalves is the author of "Diverse", a play that captures the life of the couple João and Márcia and their efforts to stray away from the prejudices of a racist and sexist society. Encouraged by João, a black 28 year old, Márcia, 40 years old and of mixed race, slowly begins to reclaim her black roots. While he tries not to be intimidated by Márcia’s past, she questions whether he has lived through enough to soon become the father of her son.


Ana Maria was born in Ibiá, Minas Gerais, in 1970. She worked in Marketing until 2001, when she moved to Itaparica Island and wrote "Ao lado e à margem do que sentes por mim" and "Um defeito de cor", winner of the Casa de las Américas Award (Cuba, 2007). She has been published in Portugal, Italy and U.S., where she also taught courses and gave seminars about race relations. Ana was also a resident at universities like Tulane, Stanford and Middlebury. Today she lives in São Paulo, where she writes for theatre, film and TV.


Cidinha da Silva is the author of "Got pregnant, gave birth to horses and learned how to fly without wings". The drama reveals the daily routine of six black women who live in the same apartment building. They have no interaction nor do they know each other, however, their similar yearnings reveal the private truth of a buried affection.


Cidinha is a prose writer and playwright from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Author of 11 books among them chronicles for adults, short stories and romance for children and adolescents. She organized two fundamental works on contemporary race relations in Brazil: Affirmative actions in education: Brazilian experiences (2003) (Ações afirmativas em educação: experiências brasileiras) and African racial relations: inputs for public policies of books, reading, literature and libraries in Brazil (2014) (Africanidades e relações raciais: insumos para políticas públicas na área do livro, leitura, literatura e bibliotecas no Brasil).


Marcia Zanelatto is the author of "The Body’s Night". Clara and Isabel are beautiful, young, talented, and in love. But the meaning of life is questioned when one of them is diagnosed with a degenerative disease. With the support of the doctor and friend, Paula, Isabel deals with the reality, finding new limitations of power and courage that she never thought she would have.


Marcia lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, where she writes for theatre, television and cinema, and teaches script writing. Her work often engages with ideas of racism, public security, and sexual and gender identity. She has received several awards, including the Brazil at Scene Award 2009 (Prêmio Brasil em Cena) for the play Time of Solitude (Tempo de Solidão), the Sexuality, Violence and Justice in the Favelas Award from the Ford Foundation with the play They ain’t Got No (Eles não usam tênis naique); and the 2014 Theatre Producers Association of Rio de Janeiro Award (Prêmio APTR) for Best Author, with the play Frumpiness (Desalinho). In 2016, the Royal Exchange Theater, Manchester, UK, commissioned a new work for the Birth Festival, which resulted in her play The Birth Machine. Her work has been translated into English, Spanish, French and Swedish.

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